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Overused Talking Points on Guns Prevent America from Moving Forward

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published

It's become routine now. Not long after news breaks of a mass shooting words like "gun control," "gun free zones," and "Second Amendment" begin to float around. We never have a serious conversation after such tragedies because the debate is always reduced to basic talking points that come without thorough consideration. The obvious questions are ignored. Instead, we get the same debate between people like conservative commentator Dana Loesch and CNN personality Piers Morgan.

And when I say the same debate, it is literally the same debate. Just looking at the back-and-forths on Twitter between Morgan and Loesch, a person could go back to December and see the exact same arguments and personal attacks, nearly verbatim, used after Sandy Hook as the two exchanged after the mass shooting that took the lives of at least 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

Another mass shooting. Another forthcoming debate on gun policy in America. The talking points remain unchanged. It is like the U.S. is caught in a tragic temporal loop.

If history teaches us anything, nothing will change, and people have become numb to that fact. People aren't talking about Monday's shooting on social media as much as they did about past shootings because the sad truth is tragedies like this are no longer "unimaginable" or "unthinkable," and if we couldn't get lawmakers in Washington to have a serious debate after Sandy Hook, there is little to no chance things will change now because the conversation is taken in the wrong direction from the beginning.

Gun control advocates will come out and say that such tragedies are just one more example of why we need more laws restricting the access of guns, but don't talk about how current federal laws are not being enforced in some of the nation's biggest cities. Those who don't believe additional gun laws are necessary say the problem is that the Navy Yard was a "gun free zone," which has become the standard talking point to turn to, but this was supposed to be a highly secured area.

Before people can even have a discussion about what some would consider common sense reform, like more extensive, enforced universal background checks, opponents have doubled down on the argument that universal background checks or any type of new reform will not prevent a future tragedy from happening in the future. So, the fundamental logic behind this argument is that it doesn't matter what laws are passed, criminals will always find a way around the system, so why should we bother trying to get in their way?

I know, sounds off, doesn't it?

To be fair, though, there is some degree of truth to it. There is no way to guarantee universal background checks will completely prevent another mass shooting. It is just impossible to guarantee this. Just like it is impossible to guarantee new voter ID laws will completely prevent voter fraud. There is no way to guarantee new border security measures will prevent another soul from entering the United States without the proper legal documentation to do so.

It is a clear example of how people who just throw out these talking points really don't think before they speak. The person who tweets it is only a matter of time before the "Left" makes the Navy Yard shooting into a case for gun control actually politicized the tragedy before the people he or she disagrees with. The person who says gun violence in America is on the rise because of more news coverage of these tragedies didn't take the time to find the widely available studies that say otherwise.

The current approach to gun violence and gun policy in America isn't working and the problem is only exacerbated by the talking heads who ignore asking real questions and having a serious discussion and debate for the overused talking points that keep America trapped in the same debate that will inevitably resurface again in the future, but will not go anywhere.

We just continue the same cycle over and over again and people are forced to ask the question, what's the definition of insanity again?

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